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 09/25/07 Lasagna con Tre Formaggi e Salsiccia from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Chi ben comincia č a metą dell'opera." (A good start is half the battle.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Risotto con Salsiccia e Funghi
  -Lasagna con Tre Formaggi e Salsiccia
  -Semifreddo di Nutella con Pistacchi

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

Arrivederci!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


 Italian cookies for your Thanksgiving

Italian Thanksgiving? According to the fine pilgrim tradition, our Italian ancestors went over to the New World, America, celebrated and gave thanks for their new found fortune, freedom and prosperity. However, they were very reluctant to give up the traditions of their own, that is why they still serve manicotti, lasagna or stuffed shells prior to the turkey. Afterwards, you top off the feast with fine Italian pastries and cookies with espresso,

Why not order a scrumptious batch of Italian cookies for your Thanksgiving feast? They're perfect to adorn any Thanksgiving table and delicious to enjoy. If you would like to order in time for the Holiday, please keep in mind the following deadline:

All Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Monday evening, November 12, at midnight EST. Click here to order!


 Recipe: Risotto con Salsiccia e Funghi

Risotto con Salsiccia e Funghi
Sausage and Wild Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Italian sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out, caps diced
10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 and 1/2 cups Madeira wine
6 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice or other medium-grain rice (about 13 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and saute until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.

Add all the mushrooms, thyme, and oregano and saute until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup Madeira wine; boil until almost absorbed, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Bring stock to simmer in large saucepan; remove from heat and cover to keep hot.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add rice; stir 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup Madeira wine; simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup hot stock; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes.

Continue to cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding more stock by cupfuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes.

Stir in sausage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve with grated cheese. Serves 8.

That's it!


 Recipe: Lasagna con Tre Formaggi e Salsiccia

Lasagna con Tre Formaggi e Salsiccia
Lasagna with Three Cheeses and Italian Sausage

Ingredients:

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
8 ounces lean ground beef
6 ounces spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

For the lasagna:
15 lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces)
2 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 large eggs
4 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 1 and 1/4 lbs)

Directions:

Prepare the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic; saute until softened, about 12 minutes.

Add beef and sausages to pan; saute until cooked through, breaking up meat with a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend and sauce measures about 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Let cool.

Prepare the lasagna:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cook the pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Drain; cover with cold water.

Combine ricotta and 3/4 cup Parmigiano cheese in a medium bowl. Mix in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.

Drain pasta and pat dry.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.

Place 5 noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit.

Spread half of ricotta-spinach mixture evenly over noodles.

Sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta-spinach mixture.

Spoon 1 and 1/2 cups sauce over cheese, spreading with spatula to cover (sauce will be thick).

Repeat layering with 5 noodles, remaining ricotta-spinach mixture, 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 and 1/2 cups sauce.

Arrange remaining 5 noodles over sauce. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese evenly over lasagna.

(Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna for 40 minutes; uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

That's it!


 Recipe: Semifreddo di Nutella con Pistacchi

Semifreddo di Nutella con Pistacchi
Chilled Nutella Semifreddo with Pistachio Nuts

Ingredients:

2/3 lb (300 grams) Nutella, warmed over a double boiler
3 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt
2/3 cup (130 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon rum
2 ounces (60 grams) pistachios
Cocoa for dusting

Directions:

Heat 2/3 of the sugar in a pot with about 1/3 cup of water; cook until the syrup forms many tiny bubbles, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring.

Take your beaten egg whites and add the hot syrup in a thin stream, beating steadily. Continue to beat the mixture until it is shiny.

Fold in the Nutella and rum and turn the batter into a 7-inch round pan lined with plastic wrap.

Chill this sformato in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

In the meantime, blanch the pistachios for 30 seconds, drain them, and remove the skins.

Heat the remaining sugar in a pan until it caramelizes and becomes golden, and then add the pistachios. Mix well and turn the mixture out onto a sheet of oven paper. Spread it out with a spatula.

Remove the sformato from the freezer, cover it with a sheet of oven paper and a serving plate, and carefully flip the sformato so it comes to rest upon the paper and the plate.

Remove the pan from which it chilled in, dust the sformato with cocoa and sprinkle the pistachios over it, and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure:

Venice: "Will You Stop Feeding the Pigeons?!"

Venice - September 18 - Venice has decided to ignore its reputation for wedding romance by enforcing a ban on showering newly-weds with rice, in an effort to keep down the city's pigeon population.

Each year more than 1,000 civil marriages are registered at the historic Palazzo Cavalli. But, said the city's police chief Marco Agostini, "throwing rice at the bride and groom brings hordes of pigeons, who then wait around until the next ceremony. The situation has become unbearable."

There are calculated to be 40,000 pigeons in the historic center. Besides the cost of cleaning up droppings, it has been discovered that pigeons are causing dangerous cracks in buildings. Offering them food spiked with contraceptives has produced scant results in cutting their numbers. A city spokeswoman said: "The rice ban was already on the books, but there will be no more turning a blind eye for weddings since it was calculated that every new-born Venetian is lumbered with an annual tax of 275 Euros ($387) to clean up after pigeons."

The mayor, Massimo Cacciari, is also trying to ban the sale of grain to feed pigeons in St Mark's Square, despite opposition from animal rights groups and the sellers themselves, who have refused to move. "The square is not a hen-house and you can't have pigeon's droppings all over the place," Mr Agostini said. "The square is washed and cleaned up weekly, but it's not enough."

Authorities also say that the pigeons are chipping away at the city's marble statues and buildings by pecking at small gaps in the facades to reach for scraps of food that have been blown inside, thus threatening the city's ancient fabric.

"Via via via, piccoli bastardi!"

The Venice city council has to get a grip on Italian reality. How are you to explain to pigeons that the Venice "piazzas" are no-fly zones and that they have no landing rights?

Thanks to global warming, Venice is being swallowed up by the lagoon forcing tourists to walk around on wooden planks at high tide. And they're worried about rats with wings? Plus, it's not really comforting to be served an overpriced cappuccino in a flooded St. Mark's Square by a smart-mouthed waiter wearing army green galoshes.

Spiking pigeon food with contraceptives: How could this have worked? These are Italian pigeons that swagger around churches all day well aware of the fact that taking contraceptives would go against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Getting married in Venice is a dream come true for many happy couples. Of course, throwing rice at the bride and groom brings in hordes of pigeons but that's what creates the wonderful Venetian atmosphere and unforgettable photo opportunities. Believe us, couples that can afford to marry in Venice would rather have cute flying vermin attend their weddings than the ungrateful and annoying vermin they have for family and relatives back home.

Our solution for this problem is to use Italian "Carabiniere" as scarecrows.

You see, the key to using one of these successfully is to make the so-called police officer appear as lifelike as possible because most of them appear dead from the neck down. Move it from one location to another every few days. A scarecrow that moves either randomly or responsively is usually more effective than one who stands at a bar sipping espresso all day making sure his uniform is impeccable.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and you'll discover why the last improvements to Italy were made by Julius Caesar and why it's been downhill ever since!  Click Here to Subscribe!



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